SPFD: Fire season here, voluntary weed abatement urged

May 20, 2000
Santa Paula News
It seems like only yesterday - and it almost was - that late rains pounded Ventura County, a weather pattern that just might make for an interesting fire season. Fire season officially opened on May 16th and for the next six months firefighters will be on the alert that a higher danger exists that even the smallest blaze could ultimately destroy thousands of acres and homes.Ventura County got more rain than normal after the normal rain season was over which could mean more brush and more fuel for fire.Chief Paul Skeels of the Santa Paula Fire Department said personnel is “gearing up for weed abatement inspection season,” an effort starting later this month that could stretch into July.The good news is that “many of us, the residents in town, are already attacking the weeds, including myself,” to cut them down and take preventive measures against reappearing growth.“I’m encouraging all residents that have problems with natural growth of weeds and vegetation on their property to be proactive,” and start weed abatement now, Chief Skeels noted.The Santa Paula Fire Department typically has about 400 properties within city limits that can be hazard areas, including vacant lots.SPFD inspections will soon be launched and if the property is considered a fire hazard a notice for weed abatement will be sent to the owner.
This year the effort will be scaled back: “That’s our objective,” noted Chief Skeels. “If somebody has their property cleared we’re trying to avoid sending them a notice. . .we’re going to try to do preliminary drive-bys,” to determine the condition of the property before a formal notification is sent.“That’s our objective, to cut down on the mailed notices. . .most people do weed abatement voluntarily so why burden them with a notice? Hopefully, that will cut down on the paperwork for 200 to 300 properties,” whose owners make sure are weed and brush free.Of course, “You can’t predict the weather and if we have an unseasonable rain we’ll have to start all over,” he added. “In any event, we try to give property owners reasonable time to clear their property.”If you have any questions about weed abatement, call Chief Skeels at 933-4225 or Assistant Chief Rick Araiza at 933-4265.Fire season typically runs from mid-May to mid-November but dry conditions extended it to January this year.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.